Menu
IBM and Cisco are taking IoT analytics to the edge

IBM and Cisco are taking IoT analytics to the edge

The companies are bringing some smarts from IBM's Watson platform to Cisco edge devices

The Internet of Things is no good without a way to act on the data it generates. A new partnership between two of the biggest IoT players promises to put smart collection and advanced analysis of data right where it’s needed.

IBM and Cisco Systems have worked out how to run components of IBM’s Watson IoT analytics on Cisco edge devices. This will bring more intelligence closer to where the action is, helping enterprises run things like factories and oil rigs more efficiently.

In 2014, Cisco unveiled small routers and switches that could be embedded in facilities and vehicles located far from any data center. The devices could take in data from local sensors and analyze it on site with a small, built-in Linux computer. Among other things, this "fog computing" system could decide what data was interesting enough to send to the cloud and what could just be thrown away.

Cisco also included a way to make other analytics platforms work on the data. Watson was an obvious candidate. The partnership with IBM is a big step toward making the IoT edge more intelligent and linking it to powerful cloud-based analytics, said Mike Flannagan, Cisco vice president of data and analytics.

One thing the companies can do is to give edge devices Watson’s own smarts about what data points to send to the Watson cloud for long-term business insights. In addition, the Watson software can do some analytics without sending the information out to the cloud.

Enterprises want to see companies like Cisco and IBM working together on IoT, IDC analyst Vernon Turner said. In a field that’s still highly fragmented among various standards and solutions, cooperation among two big vendors that are already in the mix at many enterprises should help make things easier.

IBM, which has a vast set of offerings in IoT, may go from here to integrate more of those with Cisco in the future, MachNation analyst Steve Hilton said. More cooperation should help drive more IoT deployments, which scare off some enterprises because they fear the hassles of implementation.

The Cisco-IBM integration is available now, and some enterprises are already using it. The Port of Cartagena, in Colombia, has thousands of IoT devices collecting data about things like cranes, vehicles, and shipping containers. The port wanted to apply Watson analytics to the data from those devices, and it turned out that crunching the numbers nearer to the sensors was more effective than sending it all to on-site data centers or the cloud.

Analytics at the edge gives the port quicker reaction times, more efficient use of data and networks, and better dollar value per IoT device, IBM Watson IoT General Manager Chris O’Connor said.

The partnership isn’t exclusive for Cisco or IBM, and there’s nothing stopping enterprises and system integrators from combining the companies’ technologies themselves. But by doing the integration and verification work, Cisco and IBM say they’ll save customers a lot of time and effort.

In addition to the purpose-built IoT devices, Watson can be integrated into many other Cisco products, including ISRs (Integrated Services Routers) and UCS (Unified Computing System) servers.

Subscribe here for up-to-date channel news

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Featured

Slideshows

StorageCraft celebrates high achievers at its inaugural A/NZ Partner Awards

StorageCraft celebrates high achievers at its inaugural A/NZ Partner Awards

Revealed at a glitzy bash in Sydney at the Ivy Penthouse, the first StorageCraft Partner Awards locally saw the vendor honour its top-performing partners with ASI Solutions, SMBiT Pro, Webroot, ACA Pacific and Soft Solutions New Zealand taking home the top awards. Photos by Maria Stefina.

StorageCraft celebrates high achievers at its inaugural A/NZ Partner Awards
Kiwi resellers make a splash on Synnex and Lenovo RotoVegas road trip

Kiwi resellers make a splash on Synnex and Lenovo RotoVegas road trip

​Synnex and Lenovo hosted 18 resellers for an action-packed weekend adventure in RotoVegas, taking in white water rafting on the Kaituna River, as well as quad biking and dinner at Stratosfare​, overlooking Lake Rotorua at the top of Mount Ngongotaha​. Photos by Synnex.

Kiwi resellers make a splash on Synnex and Lenovo RotoVegas road trip
Show Comments